Story: Earthquakes

New Zealand regions at greatest risk of ground shaking

New Zealand regions at greatest risk of ground shaking

Some parts of New Zealand are more likely to experience severe earthquakes than others. The colours on this map indicate the likely severity of shaking in different areas – in technical terms, the ground motion which has a 10% chance of occurring within 50 years. These predictions are based on the distribution of active faults, how frequently faults have moved in the past, and the location of historic earthquakes. The zone where the strongest shaking is likely corresponds to the southern part of the Alpine Fault, extending along the Hope Fault into Marlborough.

The 2010–11 Canterbury earthquakes are outside the areas of greatest statistical risk of high ground shaking. This illustrates the point that large earthquakes may occur anywhere in the New Zealand region, not just in the highest risk areas.

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Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

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Source: GNS Science

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Earthquakes - Living with earthquakes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 1 Aug 2017